Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray is appealing his sex assault conviction and nine-month sentence.

Former Lower Mainland councillor appeals sex assault conviction

Judges hear David Murray quest to have his conviction and nine-month sentence overturned

A former Lower Mainland politician, David Murray, was in court on Friday morning to appeal his sex assault conviction.

Murray, a previous Pitt Meadows city councillor, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 1992, in a decision by Justice Deirdre Pothecary in Port Coquitlam provincial court in 2017. He received a nine-month sentence.

He is appealing both the conviction and his sentence, and on Friday the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver dealt with the matter of his conviction, with Murray not in attendance.

His lawyer, David Ferguson, argued that Pothecary improperly devalued defence evidence, and Ferguson asked for a new trial. The lawyer said the judge shifted the burden of proof in the case, and held Murray’s evidence to a higher standard than Crown evidence. He also said Crown provided no accurate timeline.

Prosecutor Mary Brown said Pothecary gave equal weight to Murray and the victim’s evidence in her reasons for judgement, with 25 paragraphs on each in the written ruling. She told the court the record does not show an imbalanced scrutiny of evidence.

The appeal was heard by Justices Nicole Garson, Gregory Fitch and Patrice Abrioux. They asked for more written submissions from Murray’s lawyer and Crown, to be received in November.

Murray is on bail until a decision is rendered.

Murray, secretary-treasurer of the CUPE Fraser Valley District Labour Council, was originally charged in November 2016 with sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under the age of 14. But Crown counsel asked for the second charge to be stayed, citing an inability to confirm whether the complainant was 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged attack.

Murray remained on Pitt Meadows council and attended regular meetings throughout the investigation and trial. Following the conviction in October 2017, he resigned effective the following January.

The council has been lobbying the provincial government to introduce legislation that would compel a municipal politician convicted of a serious crime to resign.

Last September, the Union of B.C. Municipalities backed a resolution on the topic from Pitt Meadows council. Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson has said she will work on creating new legislation with the organization.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

PHOTOS: Historic look at Chilliwack activities we are missing in the pandemic

Images from the Chilliwack Museum & Archives show sporting events everyone hopes to get back to soon

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read